University Students May Be Getting COVID-19 Intentionally, to Sell Antibody Plasma

The Brigham Young University in Idaho has launched an investigation into claims that some of its students are intentionally trying to get infected with SARS-CoV-2, to then sell their antibody plasma for cash.

Officials at Brigham Young University, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, strongly condemned the the alleged behavior of its students and announced its decision to suspend anyone caught attempting to contract the virus on purpose. The university is currently investigating incidents on campus, and has urged students not to put themselves and others at risk for financial risks, because the risk is not worth the reward.

Photo: LuAnn Hunt/Unsplash

“The contraction and spread of COVID-19 is not a light matter,” Brigham Young officials said. “Reckless disregard for health and safety will inevitably lead to additional illness and loss of life in our community. If students are struggling, BYU-Idaho stands ready to help. There is never a need to resort to behavior that endangers health or safety in order to make ends meet.”

Idaho news outlets have identified several donation centers paying for antibody plasma, including one close to the university that claims to pay survivors of COVID-19 $100 per visit “as a special thank you” for “saving lives during a pandemic.” Another location reportedly pays donors $200 for each of their first two visits.

According to the FDA, plasma from people cured of COVID-19 “may be effective in treating COVID-19 and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.”

As of last Tuesday, Brigham Young University had confirmed 119 active student cases of COVID-19 and 20 active employee cases.

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